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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Laboratory Technicians in Columbia, Maryland

Medical laboratory technicians can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Columbia, Maryland area. About 2,550 people are currently employed as medical laboratory technicians in Maryland. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 22% to 3,110 people employed. This is better than the national trend for medical laboratory technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 16.1% over the next eight years. Medical laboratory technicians generally perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.

Income for medical laboratory technicians is about $20 hourly or $42,950 per year on average in Maryland. Nationally, their income is about $17 per hour or $35,380 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical, people working as medical laboratory technicians in Maryland earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical nationally. Medical laboratory technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: serology technician, medical lab assistant, and pathologist assistant.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be a medical laboratory technician, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. Medical laboratory technicians usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years training to become a medical laboratory technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Laboratory Technician

Medical Laboratory Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, medical laboratory technicians perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. They also may work under the supervision of a medical technologist.

Medical laboratory technicians assemble and test sterility of medical laboratory equipment. They also ready standard volumetric solutions and reagents to be combined with samples, following standardized formulas or experimental procedures. Equally important, medical laboratory technicians have to analyze the results of tests and experiments to insure conformity to given requirements, using special mechanical and electrical devices. Finally, medical laboratory technicians conduct chemical analyses of body fluids, such as blood and urine, using microscope or automatic analyzer to uncover abnormalities or diseases, and enter findings into computer.

Every day, medical laboratory technicians are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for medical laboratory technicians to analyze and record test data to issue reports that use charts, graphs and narratives. They are often called upon to conduct blood tests for transfusion purposes and perform blood counts. They also confer with a pathologist to establish a final diagnosis when abnormal cells are found. They are sometimes expected to conduct chemical analyses of body fluids, such as blood and urine, using microscope or automatic analyzer to uncover abnormalities or diseases, and enter findings into computer. Somewhat less frequently, medical laboratory technicians are also expected to perform medical research to further control and cure disease.

They also have to be able to obtain specimens, cultivating, isolating and identifying microorganisms for analysis And finally, they sometimes have to analyze the results of tests and experiments to insure conformity to given requirements, using special mechanical and electrical devices.

Like many other jobs, medical laboratory technicians must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:

  • Cardiac Technician. Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary-functions, lung capacity, and similar tests.
  • Dentist. Diagnose and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums and related oral structures. May treat diseases of nerve, pulp, and other dental tissues affecting vitality of teeth.
  • Health Information Systems Technician. Compile, process, and maintain medical records of hospital and clinic patients in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, and regulatory requirements of the health care system. Process, maintain, and report patient information for health requirements and standards.
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist. Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff.
  • Nuclear Medical Technologist. Prepare, administer, and measure radioactive isotopes in therapeutic, diagnostic, and tracer studies utilizing a variety of radioisotope equipment. Prepare stock solutions of radioactive materials and calculate doses to be administered by radiologists. Subject patients to radiation. Execute blood volume, red cell survival, and fat absorption studies following standard laboratory techniques.
  • Pharmacist. Compound and dispense medications following prescriptions issued by physicians, dentists, or other authorized medical practitioners.
  • Respiratory Therapy Technician. Provide specific, well defined respiratory care procedures under the direction of respiratory therapists and physicians.
  • Sonographer. Produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.
  • Surgical Technician. Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon's assistants, hold retractors, and help count sponges, needles, and instruments.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Laboratory Technician Training

Northern Virginia Community College - Annandale, VA

Northern Virginia Community College, 4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd, Annandale, VA 22003-3796. Northern Virginia Community College is a large college located in Annandale, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 41,870 students. Northern Virginia Community College has an associate's degree program in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Technician which graduated seven students in 2008.

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has 2 areas of study related to Medical Laboratory Technician. They are:

  • Hematology Technology/Technician, master's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Clinical/Medical Laboratory Technician, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated 302 and 203 students respectively in 2008.

Anne Arundel Community College - Arnold, MD

Anne Arundel Community College, 101 College Pky, Arnold, MD 21012-1895. Anne Arundel Community College is a large college located in Arnold, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,149 students. Anne Arundel Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Clinical/Medical Laboratory Technician which graduated thirty and five students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Medical Laboratory Technician: Certification translates to an advantage in the work place.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Medical LabTechnician: All laboratory professionals, including Medical Technologists, Medical Laboratory Technicians and Medical Laboratory Assistants have long played a vital role in the diagnosis and prevention of disease.

For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.

Registered Vascular Technologist: The examination's content outline includes: cerbrovascular, venous, peripheral arterial, abdomenal/visceral, miscellaneous conditions/tests, and quality assurance.

For more information, see the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers website.

Donor Phlebotomy Technician: This certification is for current Phlebotomy Technicians who take blood from patients for testing or for a blood bank, prepare samples for testing, and carry out those tests.

For more information, see the American Society for Clinical Pathology website.

Biomedical Electronics Technician: Biomedical electronics technicians are expected to obtain knowledge of the principles of modern biomedical techniques, the proper procedure in the care, handling and maintenance of biomedical equipment and to display an attitude/behavior expected of an electronics technician who works in a hospital or healthcare environment.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Certified Dental Technician: Certification is the process of assessing a dental technician's knowledge and applied skill level necessary to perform the tasks required of a dental technician.

For more information, see the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology website.

Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant: The Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant is one of NHA's National Certification Examinations that is designed for only healthcare school graduates and medical professionals.

For more information, see the National Healthcareer Association website.

Phlebotomist: The National Phlebotomy Association specializes in the training of Phlebotomists.

For more information, see the National Phlebotomy Association website.

Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician: Certification protects the public from unsafe and incompetent caregivers, gives consumers more choices in seeking health care providers, distinguishes among levels of care, and may give certified individuals a competitive advantage.

For more information, see the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission website.

Nuclear Cardiology Technologist: Professional certification is a vital component of a successful career.

For more information, see the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board website.

Clinical Nephrology Technologist: The National Nephrology Certification Organization (NNCO).

For more information, see the Professional Testing Corporation website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.